What is a Platform Plank?

Do you have an idea that could impact how you work?  Is there something you would like to see changed in your benefits package? Would you like to change state laws to improve employment for all state workers?  Now is your opportunity!  You can expand the OPEA (Oklahoma s Public Employees Association) 2023-24 Legislative Agenda and help advocate for yourself and fellow state employees by submitting a Platform Plank.  These planks are used to create the overall Legislative Agenda.  Any item that OPEA works to pass into law originates as a plank offered by members.   

OPEA will be accepting platform planks from July 21st, 2023, to August 13th, 2023.  These planks are ideas submitted by OPEA members and if approved by the membership, become part of our legislative agenda for the upcoming year. The process is simple, you start by filling out a plank submission form at this link.  This link can be as simple or detailed as you choose.  Just list your ideas relating to state employment, compensation, benefits, or agency-specific needs. 

Once you submit your plank, it will be reviewed by the Platform Plank committee to verify that the concept is not already in place or violates state law/administrative rules.  If approved by the committee, the plank will then be presented at the 2023 OPEA Business Meeting being held on August 26, 2023.  Either you or your regional director can present the plank for consideration at the Meeting.  After the meeting, all planks discussed will be voted on by the OPEA Membership.

Online voting on planks will begin no later than August 29, 2023, and close at 5 pm on September 15, 2023, Planks that receive majority approval announced after September 15, 2023, and will be added to the 2023-24 OPEA Legislative Agenda.  Below you will find a list of the 2023 Legislative Agenda. 

Please note, any submission for the 2024 planks that mirrors one already approved in 2023 will not be considered. This is due to the Legislature running on a two-year cycle, any plank/legislation from 2023 is still eligible for consideration at the Capitol this year.  

If you have any questions regarding planks, ideas, or the process, please contact OPEA at 405-524-6764

  • Market-Based Pay Concept (HB 1798)
    • Develop and implement a market-based pay plan and philosophy for state employees.
  • Pay for Performance Concept – (HB 1798)
    • Develops and implements a pay-for-performance pay plan and philosophy for state employees.
  • Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for State Retirees – (HB 1277 and HB 1290)
    • Grant a Cost-of-Living increase for retired state employees.
  • Cost of Living Adjustment Triggers – (HB 2279)
    • Develop and implement market-based criteria or “Triggers” for the public retirement system to grant Cost of Living increases to retirees.
  • Use it or Lose it Leave Reform – (HB 1027 Special Session)
    • Ensure State employees do not lose the annual leave they have accrued like OPEA’s 2021 Legislation HB 2294.
  • Civil Service Modernization Edits – (HB 1794)
    • Continue to update and revise the Civil Service Modernization Act to best protect state employees.
  • Return to the Defined Benefit Pension Retirement Plan – (HB 2854)
    • Return state employees to a defined benefit plan and close the current defined contribution Plan “Pathfinder” that was implemented for state employees hired after November 2015
  • Add positions into the Hazard Duty Retirement (20-year Retirement) – Presented & Authored by Jon Vandiver
    • Place additional job titles under the OPERS Hazardous Duty retirement system (i.e., Fire Marshals, Military Police, Child Welfare)
  • Create a stipend for state employees who have adopted children – Presented & Authored by Jon Vandiver
    • Establish a stipend to cover adoption costs for state employees
  • Return to the rule of 80 for state retirement qualification – Presented & Authored by Shana Stafford
    • Return retirement age to the “Rule of 80”. The rule of 80 refers to your years of service plus age to determine retirement eligibility.
  • Option for employees to pay slightly more for insurance to get better coverage – Presented & Authored by Jon Vandiver
    • Expand the options for vision, dental, and other supplemental insurance benefits
  • Establish a Floating Holiday – (SB 65)
    • (Juneteenth, Indigenous Peoples Day, Birthday, Anniversary, etc.) (HB 4190) – Pass legislation like the Texas Floating Holiday rule. Allowing each individual employee to choose their preferred floating holiday.
  • Paid Leave for Volunteering at a non-profit – (HB 1790)
    • Expand HB 1943 (2021) to allow for paid/admin leave to volunteer for nonprofits
  • Expand the COVID-19 Child Care Credit – (HB 2770)
    • Codify and make permanent the Child Care Credit that was offered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Tuition Reimbursement for advancing education in a topic relevant to your state job – Presented & Authored by Traci Allen
    • Develop a program to assist all state employees with continuing education in exchange for service.
  • Standardize on-call practices across state government – (HB 2834)
    • Establish standardized on-call compensation & practices through all agencies.
  • Discounts for state employees at state parks – (HB 2749)
    • Expanding the Dept. of Tourism Employee Stay benefit to all state employees. Reintroduce HB 3320 (2022).
  • Increase Benefit Allowance – (HB 1407)
    • Further expand the benefit allowance increases established by SB 650.
  • Grant Park rangers increased power and authority to police – (HB 2596)
    • Pass rules or legislation granting Park Rangers the same law enforcement jurisdictions as other statewide LE Officers.
  • Hazard Duty Pay for DHS Child Welfare – (SB 417)
    • Grant Child Welfare employees hazardous duty pay while conducting investigations.
  • Standardized Differential Pay – (SB 676)
    • Pass rules or legislation requiring differential pay for employees in positions that previously required extended certification but no longer list those requirements.
  • Pay out sick leave over 960 upon retirement – Presented & Authored by Lisa Linzy
    • Pass Legislation to have 50-70 percent of unused sick leave be paid out upon retirement or have the equivalent monetary amount placed in SoonerSave.
  • Increase Retiree Benefit Allowance – Presented & Authored by Larry Johnson
    • Increase the retiree benefit allowance to match the Medicare premium.
  • Add Paid Maternity, Paternity, and Medical Leave to the State Employee Benefits Package – (SB 16 Special Session)
    • Establish paid maternity, paternity, and medical leave in the state employee benefits package.
  • Expand the Employee Assistance Program EAP – (HB 1796)
    • Expand EAP for work-related stress
  • Expand FMLA – Presented by Alicia Lincoln
    • Add siblings, mothers-in-law, and fathers-in-law to the state’s definition of family for FMLA.

Related News